Business relationships are built on trust and mutual understanding. When expectations are consistently not met, personal and business relationships alike can suffer. As a business owner, it’s crucial to set clear expectations and work to consistently meet or exceed them in order to build and maintain strong relationships with clients, partners, and other stakeholders.

One way to set expectations is through the use of a well-crafted contract. Contracts serve as more than just a binding document; they define boundaries and explicitly set expectations. In the case of providing a custom service, it’s important to ensure that clients know exactly what they will receive, as well as what they won’t. Nothing is more rewarding than delivering everything promised and having clients use the contract as a checklist to confirm that.

However, problems can arise when requests are made that go beyond the original scope of the contract. For the longevity of the business relationship, it’s important to pause and regroup before proceeding with these requests. Instead of immediately trying to accommodate a request because you are a “nice guy,” take a step back, draft a new contract or addendum, and clearly outline the revised expectations. This will save you potential hardship in the future when it comes time to get paid.

By setting and consistently meeting expectations, you can build trust, foster strong relationships, and ensure the long-term success of your business. Whether through contracts or other means, make sure you clearly communicate what you can and will deliver, and then follow through on those promises